CONTRACTS were signed in Gabarone on August 3 for resignalling of the Botswana Railways network.

Ansaldo Signal subsidiary Union Switch & Signal has been selected to provide computer-based Direct Traffic Control to replace the now-obsolete British Radio Electronic Token Block equipment installed in 1989-90. As part of the programme, the number of crossing loops on the 640 km Ramatlabama - Bakaranga main line will be cut from 41 to 21, but the remaining loops will be extended to take longer trains.

According to BR Chairman M I Ebrahim, the resignalling project began in May 2004, when CIE Consult was appointed as project management adviser. This led to the selection of US&S as principal supplier.

As well as providing the DTC equipment, similar to that used in Queensland for more than 10 years, US&S will also install Microlok II interlockings and remotely-controlled signalling at eight stations. Work is scheduled for completion by April 2007. n